Analog Science Fiction and Fact, February 2001 (Peanut Press edition)

The Mycojuana Incident. Fran van Cleave.

Near-future USA, with a war in Asia and a Drugs War at home. Dr. Frank Murphy is recently qualified, starting his career in a small town whilst dreaming of working on the Moon.

A deadly virus breaks out, and suddenly the feds are involved, covering up government responsibility, and Murphy and a senior partner have their hands full saving a local moonshiner, their careers and their liberty.

A tad X-filesy, and the ending was just a little too neat for my liking, but otherwise enjoyable.

The Fine Art of Watching. John Mulherin.

A competent story about a surveillance team watching an employee suspected of passing on commercially sensitive information to a rival.

It reads somewhat like a chapter from a spy novel, and finishes rather abruptly. I was somewhat taken aback when it finished: the electronic Peanut Press edition gives no indication of how much there is left to read of a story whilst your are reading, and in this case I finished a sentence at the bottom of one page, clicked on to the next page, and was face to face with the copyright disclaimer heralding the end of the story!

Mirka’s Wings. Wolf Read.

On the planet Epona a young girl flies with the ariel denizens of that planet. But impetuous and foolhardly, she is. A mentor, what she needs, is. The uther, Eaccac, that role fills. A funny manner of speaking, that race has. Something of that nature, have I heard, before?

Fresh Air. Brian Plante.

Who would credit it? Coming over all emotional when reading a story in Analog of all places! But then I’ve always been a sucker for sentimentality – I can’t watch Lassie episodes, even now, without blinking back the tears.

Not that Plante’s story is excessively sentimental, but rather a very human take on the very big sacrifices planetary colonists will have to make to establish a foothold for Mankind on the more inhospitable planets.

Or Die Trying. Grey Rollins.

Investigator Jack Sawyer is brought in by an insurance company following a murder in which the unfortunate victim has not only been shot dead, but his memory backups have also been wiped.

Sawyer soon finds himself in a similar predicament, having to solve the case from within a virtual environment.

Nanoweights. Shane Tourtellotte.

Boxing has survived into the next century, but with a difference: instead of adreniline swabs, the cornermen inject their boxers with nanobots between rounds to repair damage.

But despite the nanotech and the sponsorship by nano companies, boxing remains no different with the boxers mere pawns in the game (or as one British boxer famously observed: “l’m just a prawn in this game!”)

Conclusion.

A solid issue without any of the stories particularly standing out.

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